1956 Barbizon Plaza Private Class for “25”
Joel S. Goldsmith
153B – Christ Realized 2/6
Now when you approach your ministry in that sense that you have attained a realization of the Christ, and that that realization of the Christ is your savior, your salvation, your healer, your supplier, your all, you would make a liar of it the very moment that you would look out to others for it. Right here of course comes what might seem to be a contradiction. The human mind does not value spiritual things. The human mind has no capacity for valuing spiritual things.
It might look at a diamond and know how much to pay for it. It might look at a pound of butter, and know how much to pay for it. It might look at a house, and know how much to pay for it, but it cannot look at a spiritual message, or healing, or book, and know what to pay for it. And so, you will find in your experience that people will object to a fifty cent pamphlet. “Why isn’t it ten cents?” And they will object to a three-fifty book. “Why isn’t it two dollars?” And they will object to a seven-fifty book. “Why isn’t it two-fifty?”
And they will object to almost everything, but more especially you will find their objection if you leave to their voluntary contribution, the activity of your supply, because you will then find that the finest talk you can ever give to them isn’t worth much more than ten cents, or twenty-five, or fifty cents. It is only when you say the price is two-fifty that they will pay it. If you leave it to, (the human mind, I’m speaking of), you will find that your collection plate will be full of nickels and dimes and once in a while, pennies.
And it isn’t that they can’t afford more. Oh, heavens no. They can’t go to a movie for that, and they all go to movies. They can’t buy radios for that, and they all have radios and televisions and all the rest of it. It is only that the human mind has no proper way of evaluating a spiritual thing.
Now I still have that same experience, that when, well, I think last Saturday night … I think last Saturday night was about as fine a message as ever came through my lips. I would equal it to any class that I have had. Do you think it was evaluated by that audience? Same old nickels and dimes were there. They had no way of knowing that they were listening to a spiritual message that could do things for them. Do you see that?
Now … and it’s true all over. It makes no difference what gem, or spiritual gem you give to the human mind. It still looks back on it in terms of nickels, dimes, quarters, and so forth. And so it is that in order to develop a higher appreciation, you have to take some human ways of educating patients and students to the idea of spiritual values. Not for your sake, and not for your supply. No, not at all: for theirs, for theirs, because you would have your supply whether or not you spoke to them or whether you charged or whether you didn’t.
But you will never bring them up unless you do through education, the way of bringing to light their understanding. To begin with, most of them are accustomed to churches where they drop dimes to single dollar bills. Others are accustomed to metaphysical works, where they buy ten cent pamphlets, or go to a class; and they go to three classes in a day, with three different teachers, and give each teacher a dime or quarter. They don’t really expect anything from those classes, except the privilege of spending time. It’s much better than going to a movie, and sometimes you can probably rest or sleep better there than you could at a movie. They have shots going sometime in most of the movies.
But the point is that by far the most people who attend those things have no intention of benefiting by them, except whatever benefit they might get in the way of healing by accident. They believe that very often somebody does get a healing while the speaker is talking, and they may have a lucky break that day. And so they’ll be there in case the lightning strikes.
Now this isn’t true after students have had spiritual experiences, after they have begun to feel the activity of the Christ in them. Then the opposite is true. They just can’t be liberal enough, or generous enough, or giving enough. Because they realize they’re not giving to the one who’s receiving it temporarily. They’re giving to the cause of it, the work of it, the perpetuation of it. They’re giving to the benefit of the world. And so their sense of gratitude is great. But that does not constitute the bulk of your work.
The bulk of your work is with those who are beginning. That is how this matter of class tuition began. You see, if you were to look at my private life, you would know that I have so few needs that it would make no difference if I never taught a class, or did any of that work. God has a way of taking care of those daily needs. But when I began this work, public work, and first went out to places, I found that an audience of three hundred usually left a collection of thirty dollars behind them, and the hall cost fifty to hire.
I have found audiences of four hundred people leave twenty dollars in the plates, and the hall costing two or three times that amount, not to talk about the expenses of getting there, or living there, or anything else. And that was the normal reaction. That was the normal feeling of the people who went to those places to hear. Then I noticed a second thing, that when a class was advertised, a thousand people wanted to come. Yes, but then they sat there like dead weights, and you couldn’t get a thing across. They weren’t students. They hadn’t read the books. They hadn’t tried to meditate, hadn’t done anything about it. They were just squatters.
And I had to stop that, because I can’t any more talk to a group like that than Paderewski could play over in Central Park. It’s an impossibility; I can’t. There’s something sacred about this work, and I can’t see it that way. So our classes began to have a price. And there were many complaints, but I was grateful for the complaints, because that enabled me to keep out all those who were complaining.
Now the price of a class has never been so big that there’s anybody, except someone temporarily embarrassed, that couldn’t pay it if they really were serious about wanting a class. Because at no time has it been necessary to pay cash in advance. If they want to take a year to pay for it, they’ve had no objection from my part, or if they couldn’t pay for it, and they were temporarily embarrassed.
But I know this, that when I sit on a platform in front of one of our classes now, everybody in that class has read some of the writings. Everyone has interested themselves; everyone is trying to gain a benefit. And they’re putting something into it in order to get something out of it. And they’re alert and alive. And very often that isn’t true when I have a lecture audience, because they’re coming there … you don’t know how many people call up on the phone to ask in advance how much the admission is going to be for a lecture. Well now you can imagine what they bring to a lecture audience, as if you could possibly ask anything more than they could afford.
Now, never be fooled by this. Never permit yourself to believe that you need anything that they have to give you. If you haven’t enough of the Christ to meet your individual needs, don’t go into this work. Go in with the assurance that you need nothing, and that you’re not dependent on the dollars that you collect. You’re dependent on the Christ of your own being. If you haven’t demonstrated enough of the Christ, wait until you have.
But do not make the mistake of allowing your home, or your center, or your hotel room, or wherever you function, to be cluttered up with a lot of people who think they’re coming to get something for nothing, because they also are trying to get it without effort. Not only they won’t give the money, but they won’t sit home and study the books, and you have nothing to give them if they won’t participate.